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  • #16
    I have been awaiting a Euphonix product release like this for at least a year now.

    I am very excited by the Logic Pro integration. My primary curiosity is how well one can navigate plug-ins and the mix process in general while concentrating on interacting with the surface more so than the computer display.

    Any possibility you will have the change to test third party plug-in support such as with the UAD-1? It would be very nice to know how well these plug-ins can be nagotiated directly from the control surface...?

    Thanks Craig and thank you Euphonix for filling the void :-)

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    • #17
      I am very excited by the Logic Pro integration. My primary curiosity is how well one can navigate plug-ins and the mix process in general while concentrating on interacting with the surface more so than the computer display.

      Any possibility you will have the change to test third party plug-in support such as with the UAD-1? It would be very nice to know how well these plug-ins can be nagotiated directly from the control surface...?

      Thanks Craig and thank you Euphonix for filling the void :-)


      I will be checking out the integration, for sure. I haven't used Logic much recently, but Logic Pro 8 is changing that...so this will provide an excellent opportunity not just to learn about the MC Mix, but also, it should help hone my Logic chops.
      Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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      • #18
        I got a call from Euphonix today about my Digital Performer problems. Seems they'd encountered this a few other times in the past, and repairing permissions solved the problem.

        So I repaired permissions, and...yes! Everything works fine. The track names show up in the display, the faders and panning moves, etc. etc. The integration is clearly not as tight using Mackie emulation as it is with Logic Pro, but hey, it does what a Mackie Control does

        I also checked the System Preferences > Euphonix pane and the MOTU DP settings now "stick."

        Props to Euphonix for getting on this so fast. I realize this is a high-visibility situation, but based on what I've heard from others, Euphonix in general is good about tech support.

        Note to Euphonix: May I suggest adding something to your FAQs about how people should try to repair permissions if Mackie Control mode is non-functional.
        Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

        Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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        • #19
          Question...

          When I'm using my G5 Mac, which has only one Ethernet port, I'd like to be able to run the MC Mix and access the internet so I can post here while using the setup. My internet comes from a router.

          What's the simplest/cheapest way to be able to run both internet and MC Mix at the same time? I'm really a moron when it comes to networks, so be patient...
          Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

          Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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          • #20
            If your Mac is not close to your router or it doesn't have any more available ports, you would just need to add an Ethernet switch. This is also how you would add additional MC Mix or MC Control units to your system.

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            • #21
              I am very excited by the Logic Pro integration. My primary curiosity is how well one can navigate plug-ins and the mix process in general while concentrating on interacting with the surface more so than the computer display.


              I think that's a very good standard by which to judge the MC Mix, and I'll concentrate on that next.

              I started playing around by calling up the various projects included with Logic Pro. Interestingly, they all worked fine except for "Le Disko" by Shiny Toy Guns; whenever I called it up, the EuControl application crashed although Logic remained open. If I tried to re-open EuControl, it just crashed again. It was the only song that did this, so there must be some element about it that EuControl doesn't expect. About the only clues I have are that it opens up with a movie window, and that if you click on play, it goes through a process of rebuilding fades and such -- none of the other files did this.

              I mention this not as a diss, but because it seems so repeatable that hopefully Euphonix can call up that tune and see why this happens.
              Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

              Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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              • #22
                Let's look at the basics. When you turn on the MC Mix with Logic, it's ready to go:

                * The display shows the track name.
                * The knob defaults to pan.
                * Each channel's mute/solo/on status is reflected on the control surface.
                * The fader settings are reflected on the control surface.
                * The selection buttons toward the lower right default to the Mix/Pan function.

                Let's look at each aspect in a little more detail.

                Track name: The Euphonix display is 8-10 characters wide, and very readable, with yellow lettering on a black background (which implies to me that the Euphonix engineers know about the study showing that yellow on black is the most readable color combination). You can see this in the attached photo.

                A word of advice: A long time ago, I got into the habit of naming DAW channels using 8 characters because then even if I made the channel view narrow so I could fit more channels onscreen, I could still determine what the track was. I would recommend taking this approach with the MC Mix -- or any controller, for that matter -- because if you switch banks, seeing a channel change from BACKING to BACKING isn't as helpful as seeing BCKVOC1 change to BCKVOC2. I'm not sure why some MC Mix channels show 8 characters and others show 10; that's not a complaint, as I'm used to naming with 8 characters...I'm just curious.

                The selected (what Euphonix calls "attentioned") track is underlined, which is helpful. As we'll see later on, the left side of each display shows a meter (either mono, stereo or 5.1, depending on the type of track) with clip indicator, while to the right of the knob strip you'll see the automation status (R, W, RW). To lengthen the life of the OLED (organic LED) display, it dims after a user-settable amount of time (from 1 minute to never), as determined in the EuControl application. After dimming occurs, you can return the display to full brightness simply by touching or moving anything on the control surface.

                Pan knob: When you turn the panning knob (which of course can control other parameters, this is just the default), a numeric value appears above the pan knob graphic (the strip that shows the pan position). As soon as you stop turning, the label goes back to identifying the control. This is smart, as opposed to showing the value continuously, because you always know a a glance which parameter is being controlled by the knob. But wait -- it gets better! The knob is touch-sensitive, so you don't need to turn the knob to see the value: Just touch it. If you've ever had devices where the only way to see the value was to actually move the knob, you'll appreciate this to no end. Very cool.

                Mute/on/off: This is pretty obvious. Again referring to the photo, each channel has an On button and a Solo button, which work the same way as on a normal console. If On is not enabled, then the channel is muted. Solo, of course, mutes other channels while soloing the selected one; but the Solo function is additive, so you can enable multiple Solo buttons to solo multiple channels -- you don't need to do Ctrl-Solo or anything like that. I haven't figured out a way to cancel all Solos at the same time, though, and didn't see anything in the manual that explained how to do this. Maybe someone at Euphonix has an answer...if not, I have a suggestion: It seems that hitting Shift then hitting a Solo button doesn't do anything. Perhaps a function could be added where going Shift/Solo button disables all solos.

                It's also worth noting that at least with Logic Pro, this is all bi-directional: Click Solo on Logic, and the Solo button lights on the MC Mix. Ditto channel on/off.

                Fader settings: Yes, the faders reflect what's on screen, and if you move either the physical or on-screen fader, the other fader follows suit. Like the knobs, these are touch-sensitive: Touch the fader, and the track name is replaced with a numeric value representing the slider setting (e.g., -3.85 for -3.85dB). I didn't find any way to "fine-tune" the fader setting (e.g., holding a shift key while moving the fader), but we're talking about pretty fine resolution anyway -- for example, the fader value passes through eight discrete values while going from 0 to -1dB: -0.04, -0.16, -0.28, -0.40, -0.53, -0.65, -0.77, and -0.90.

                The only questionable aspect was moving ganged faders, as the ganged fader you're not moving follows along, but with a lag. That's to be expected; every device I've seen with moving faders works this way. However, when you stop moving one of the faders, the other usually ends up in the same physical position, but not always; there was often about a 1/8" offset. Fortunately, the fader value does not reflect this offset -- both faders are set to the same electrical level, even if their physical position is slightly offset.

                Also, due to fact that we are dealing with mechanical devices, a quick flick of one ganged fader will often cause the other to appear to "overshoot" before settling back to the correct position. However, this most definitely does not overshoot at Logic Pro's mixer, which follows the motion of the fader you're moving faithfully, and the ganged fader follows suit perfectly within the program. My advice is to just consider the fader you're moving as "the real thing," and not be concerned about any apparent discrepancies with the ganged fader, as these do not affect the program at all.

                Selection buttons: We'll get more into this subject later, but these are the buttons that select various functional groups. For example, if you want to control EQ with the knob, you can hit an EQ button and now the knobs are in "EQ-land." Hit the Mix/Pan button, and the knob goes back to being a pan control.

                Next time, we'll check into how to move beyond the default control functions for the knob.
                Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                • #23
                  Before I forget, I should mention that in addition to lighting up, the buttons have a very tactile, rubbery feel. You can punch those suckers a lot without causing the ends of your fingers any grief
                  Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                  Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                  • #24
                    The problem that's causing EuControl to crash when the "Le Disko" project is loaded was fixed earlier this week and is part of the Version 1.0.2 software release that will be posted on the Euphonix download page early next week.

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                    • #25
                      Thanks for the update!
                      Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                      Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                      • #26
                        I've always said that controllers need to be learned, and the MC Mix is no exception. Granted, there are some good graphic aids to help you along, but at least to me, a controller is an instrument and as such, you need to learn it and practice it.

                        Case in point: The knobs. Now, it's common sense that a small box with eight faders, eight knobs, and a bunch of switches is not going to replace an full-blown analog mixing console. So the question becomes, how well can the box fool you into thinking you're working with a console?

                        The MC Mix knobs have two main modes: Normal mode, where a knob affects the same parameter across multiple tracks, and Channel mode, where a knob affects multiple parameters within the same track.

                        For example, when you punch the EQ button in channel mode, the left-most channel in the display is the channel you're affecting. But the knobs are a different matter: With Logic Pro, from left to right the eight knobs control Frequency and Gain for the four EQ stages. But, if you hit the Select button, the knob controlling Frequency now controls Q...and the On button underneath the stage control turns the stage on and off. Remember, because we're in Channel mode, all the knobs affect one channel.

                        But wait, you say...Logic Pro has eight stages of EQ. And indeed it does! Hit the Page button, and now the eight knobs control the high cut/low cut/high shelf/low shelf parameters.

                        So...which is easier, using the screen, or using the knobs? Well...it depends. For making a single, quick tweak, I'd vote for the screen. But where the knobs come in very handy is if you're working on a track and want to make a series of adjustments. In that case, you can keep your hands on the controller and move easily between midrange, high end, low end, etc.

                        But the most important thing - and this is a big deal - is that you can edit two parameters at once because you have two hands. For example, suppose you want to edit the high and low cutoff frequencies to add a bandpass effect. Using a mouse, you adjust one parameter, then the other, then go back, etc. until you get where you want to go. With the MC Mix, you can turn the knobs associated with each parameter at the same time.

                        Now, here's an example of "someone was thinking": For parametric stages, the Freq knob does double-duty as the Q control (you alternate between the two by hitting the SEL button). The gain remains as a separate parameter on a separate knob. It makes sense that you'd choose the frequency, and then, decide on the amount of gain/Q at that frequency.
                        Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                        Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                        • #27
                          As I've mentioned before, I really like to use controllers. However, the usefulness diminishes inversely in proportion to how often you use a function.

                          Faders? Use 'em all the time, and find it a major inconvenience to go back to using a mouse after using a control surface. On a recent project, I was mixing only four tracks from a harpsichord recording (left room, right room, left main, right main) so we're not talking a major multichannel mix - and even then, using a control surface beats using a mouse, hands-down. I needed to get the blend between all four channels perfect, and making changes one channel at a time was pathetic compared to having four faders I could move sumultaneously.

                          Or take a soft synth. I haven't tried controlling a soft synth yet with the MC Mix, but have done it a lot with Cakewalk's ACT technology. If I'm using the control surface to vary the blend between different voices, or affecting all parameters of an effect (e.g., delay time, delay feedback, delay mix), then a control surface is great. But for a "hit and run" tweak of some esoteric parametric, it takes me longer to select a bank/preset/whatever, remember which control affects which parameter, and change it compared to just grabbing a parameter with a mouse and making a change.

                          In a way, this is what's cool about Native Instrument's KORE controller. Because NI controls the instruments being controlled, they can make sure that, say, filter cutoff is always the same knob. MC Mix does the same thing, in that while it takes a while to learn which knobs and switches control which parameters, once you have it figured out then it becomes second nature to reach for a particular control at the right time.

                          But I can't emphasize enough that you need to LEARN a controller. It's only after reaching for a control becomes second nature that you really start to reap the rewards of using any controller, and the MC Mix is no exception.
                          Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                          Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                          • #28
                            The more I work with the Artist Series, the more I "get" the workflow, and the more I see what kind of thought went into defining the functionality. I will say that my comments about having to learn a control surface seem even more relevant as I work more with the Artist Series; in particular, there's extensive use of the OLED display to clue you in on what's happening. Much of this takes the form of "visual shortcuts" that aren't obvious until you're a little further up the learning curve, but once you do that climb, it makes sense.

                            For example, I mentioned Channel mode and Normal mode before, but to recap, in Normal mode, the display for each channel relates to that channel. In channel mode, multiple parameters for one channel are spread across multiple displays. There are two ways to know you're in channel mode: The CHAN button you need to hit to get in to Channel mode illuminates, but also, the OLED display places a series of dots around the faders.

                            Take a look at the attached photo. As you can see, the Chan button toward the left is illuminated. But look at the displays. Note the matrix of dots just under the Intro Vocal labels identifying the channels. The dots indicate that the displays are showing channel mode; in normal mode, no dots are visible.

                            More importantly, though, note that for the Main Voc display, the matrix of dots extends behind the track name itself. What this tells you is which channel has the "attention," i.e., which channel's parameters (in this case, Aux Send for Main Voc) are being spread out among the various displays.

                            So, while the Chan switch at least lets you know you're in channel mode (as does the presence of the matrix of dots), being able to see which channel has the attention is obviously very helpful.

                            This is also what I mean about a learning curve. Having read the manual, I had a head start but I will say that once you figure out the dots indicate Channel mode, you're not going to forget that, especially because you have the constant visual feedback of the Chan button being lit.

                            If you want to change which channel has the attention, it's easy: you just hit the Sel button for the channel fader associated with the channel you want to have the attention.

                            But there's more...
                            Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                            Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                            • #29
                              With channel mode, you can show up to 8 aux sends, which you control with the knobs. What about Normal mode?

                              Referring to the attached image, first of all, you can see that there are no dots in the display. You can also see that the left Intro Voca channel has a send, and shows the Bus the send control will send signal to; the right Intro Voc shows that there's no send for that channel.

                              As to accessing the different sends to different buses , that's done with the page buttons. Pressing Page steps through the send slots, and does so for all channels simultaneously.

                              For example, suppose you have the channels set up as follows:

                              Channel 1, slot 1: Bus 3
                              Channel 1, slot 2: Bus 14

                              Channel 2, slot 1: [no send]
                              Channel 2, slot 2: Bus 13
                              Channel 2, slot 3: Bus 14

                              You'll start off seeing "Bus 3" in channel 1's display and nothing in channel 2's display, because the control surface is showing what's in the first slot for each channel.

                              When you press the Page > button, you'll now see what's in the second slot. So, in channel 1, you'll see "Bus 14" and in channel 2, you'll see "Bus 13."

                              Press Page > again, and you'll see what's in the third slot. This means you'll see nothing in channel 1 and for channel 2, "Bus 14."

                              Once you know the surface works this way, you'll understand that it's more important than even to pay attention to how you insert and assign buses. For example, if several channels have reverb sends, ideally you would want these all in the same slot so that if you're in Normal mode, and you use the Page < or Page > to access that slot, you'll be able to adjust all the reverb sends simultaneously. This is something that's worth doing anyway just to keep a session organized, but with the Artist Series, doing your assignments intelligently will allow for a much faster workflow.

                              The only problem I have about all this involves Logic, not the Artist Series: You can't name a bus so it says, say "Revrb" or "Delay and as a result, you won't see a name like this in the display, only "Bus 3," "Bus 4," etc. [Edit: The preceding is incorrect, you can name the buses and the long bus name can show up in the MC Mix...see subsequent posts.]
                              Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                              Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                              • #30
                                During the course of doing this Pro Review, I think that I accidentally stumbled on the best way to learn it, so I'll pass along my observations here for two reasons: 1) If someone from Euphonix has a better idea they can mention it, and 2) anyone who ends up buying the Artist Series controllers -- and I suspect that's going to be quite a few people! -- may find it helpful.

                                First, you learn the general lay of the land in terms of buttons, select buttons, where the "Function buttons" (Aux, Pan, EQ, Inserts, etc.) are, and the like. That basically familiarizes you with the "toolset" the program offers.

                                Second, you dig into one function at a time and learn as much about it as you can: Adjusting levels, adjusting EQ, editing sends, etc. As you do so, you'll find out about what functions they have in common (e.g., channel vs. normal, use of Page buttons), as well as what special tricks there might be for each function. Once you've learned a function thoroughly, then you can move on to the next one.
                                Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                                Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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